Malaria, jaundice claim many lives in Arunachal’s Longding district

Itanagar: The Arunachal Pradesh government has sounded an alert in Longding district following outbreak of malaria and jaundice in which many people have lost their lives, official sources said today.

The district medical officer (DMO) of Longding Dr Lowang in his report has said there were 14 cases of death due to the diseases in the vicinity of Kannu in the district since last week, the sources said.

However, the death of about 100 people as reported by local people were of cumulative nature spread across several months due to various factors including old-age, injury and endemic malaria, Lowang said in his report.

Chief Minister Nabam Tuki yesterday convened a high level meeting here which was attended by Health Minister Atum Welly, chief secretary, development commissioner, DGP besides a host of senior government officials to assess the situation and chalked out a strategy to oversee and implement precautionary measures immediately, sources said.

The deputy commissioner of Longding and the DMO have been directed to strictly monitor the situation and deal with it with utmost urgency.

The Directorate of Health Services has dispatched a consignment of medicines and a water quality testing team has already left Khonsa for Longding with kits and medicines.

DMO Khonsa has also been directed to depute a medical team to Longding immediately.

The Joint Director Health (Malaria) Dr Hage Taki, has been directed to move immediately to Longding with laboratory experts. A medical team from the Arunachal State Hospital has also been directed to visit the affected places.
Tuki has appealed to the people to remain calm and avoid rumour and urged them to report immediately to the nearest medical centre and undergo treatment if affected. He asked people to take precautionary measures and avoid use of contaminated water.

The chief minister also directed the district administration and Health department to aggressively launch awareness campaigns on water-borne diseases in the district and equip the villagers with know-how on water testing and other precautionary measures.

Local MLA Thangwang Wangham, who is stationed at Longding, said the situation is "alarming".

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